Myth: Mike Huckabee’s performance in the 2008 primary indicates a 2012 campaign will be a bust…
This narrative has three problems. First, it smacks of the Clinton campaign’s narrative during the primary campaign that Obama’s losses in seven of the eight largest states in America meant that he couldn’t win. In the fall, Obama carried seven of these states. Thus, it was proved that the primary is not the general election.
Secondly, it assumes what Huckabee did in 2008, he’ll do in 2012. Senator McCain’s 2000 campaign won only one state outside of the liberal northeast and his home state of Arizona — Michigan. In 2008, McCain lost Michigan, but won in many states in which he lost by wide margins in 2000, such as California and Missouri.
Third, it ignores the reality of the 2008 campaign, which came down to momentum, media, and money.
On the momentum front, McCain’s win in South Carolina was pivotal and without it, he would have dropped out. Conservatives were urged to vote for Romney to stop McCain. The media ruled the race a two-man battle with the choice being between McCain and Romney. That Huckabee even managed to win the states he did under these circumstances was a minor miracle.